Volume 77
Number 3

Turning Point

12 Hours on Unit 21

Outreach in Action

War of the Winds

A Sense of Place

Enigma: Defying Gravity

Emory University

Association of Emory Alumni

Current News and Events

Emory Report



Sports Updates






















































ECK, SITTER, AND McCASKILL appeared on a panel in early September hosted by the University, providing listeners with an overview of the legal and creative issues at stake and their roles in the case. As audience members joined the dialogue, talk turned to what the case could mean to future literary and artistic endeavors—particularly, as Sitter pointed out, in light of the pervasive postmodern practice of borrowing from and alluding to other works.

Parody, referential by its very nature, is uniquely adept at exposing stereotypes and bigotry of all types, McCaskill said, and can offer humor in the face of hardship. Both McCaskill and Sitter said they plan to teach The Wind Done Gone in future English classes; McCaskill said she will teach both books in her course on multiculturalism and feminism.

The Wind Done Gone participates in a long history of African-American literature as parody,” she said. “Parody is the language of oppressed peoples, particularly in America.”

There is no doubt that the Wind vs. Wind lawsuit and accompanying publicity is helping Randall’s book fly off the shelves. Sales have continued to be brisk despite decidedly mixed reviews, most targeting the book’s erratic language—a New York Times critic, for instance, called the work “a messy hodgepodge of styles and ambitions.”

Still, for many African-American readers, the book lends another dimension to the flat, stereotypical black characters created by Mitchell. “I hope this book is getting into the hearts and minds of Americans who have been damaged by Gone With the Wind,” Randall told listeners on her visit to Atlanta. “I hope the people who read my book have the last laugh.”

But Gone With the Wind sales are up, too. And as Anderson points out, “There is a lot yet to be known about this case.”

In other words, the legal wrangling isn’t over. The Mitchell Trusts plan to pursue Wind vs. Wind, and their ultimate success will hinge on whether they can dismantle Randall’s parody defense. The copyright on Gone With the Wind expires in 2031, so there’s plenty of time for this legal drama to play itself out before the book becomes part of the public domain. Today, The Wind Done Gone can be found beside Gone With the Wind on the shelves of Atlanta bookstores, but for the heirs to Margaret Mitchell’s legacy, tomorrow is another day.



© 2001 Emory University